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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2016-09-26||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: Road is open to the upper trailhead still. Subaru Forester made it to the lower trailhead no problem. Might have made it to the upper trailhead if we were willing to risk it but probably not recommended. Snow on trail after upper trailhead is patchy but probably here to stay. s--tty lower slope was frozen in the morning, slushy on the way down. Col is mushy with a good amount of snow. Microspikes strongly recommended. Didn't summit because the notch had snow/ice in it and seemed super sketchy. Three other groups turned around at the notch too, but a few people made it so it's possible but with more snow or ice it would be very dangerous. Freeze thaw cycle is in play. Heard a lot of rock fall; bring a helmet.
|2016-09-19||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: This mountain full of gold is dry on the standard route as of Monday the 19th.
|2016-09-17||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: Totally dry all the way up. No traction necessary. No problems encountered at the V notch. Someone posted a few weeks back that one of the boulders came loose? We were still able to find solid foot and hand holds (I'm 5'3).
|2016-09-17||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: Hiked Mt. Sneffels from the lower trailhead on Saturday, 9/17/2016. Based on the log near the upper trailhead, we were about the 4th group in that day (looked like 2 groups did midnight hikes, one started around 4 am, and one group of 4 was just ahead of us). The hike from the lower trailhead to the upper trailhead was easy to follow since it's a 4WD road. We left the lower trailhead around 5:15, and after taking a break to repack some things and change layers, started off the upper trailhead at 6:15. The trail to the 1st rock field is easy to follow and signs point you in the right way of Mt. Sneffels if you're taking this approach. The 1st rock field was steep and there wasn't much of a trail (I had envisioned switchbacks, but there wasn't much to follow - you just head up). We stayed to the left, which had larger rocks and wasn't as loose. When we hit the ridgeline, the gully came into view. This didn't take us as long to get up, and by this time, there were multiple groups going up the gully at once (the group ahead of us (4 people) and some groups who had started after us and caught up). We made it to the top section by where the notch starts sometime before 9. Realizing the notch was more exposed than we thought (and took some maneuvering to get up), we realized that our dog (who had done great the whole way up) wasn't going to summit. My husband summited first while I stayed with our dog and then I summited (getting through the notch with his help) after. The summit was beautiful and we had a nice clear day. Coming back through the notch was slightly scary due to the large drop and lack of footholds near ground level (taller people probably are fine getting back down). We slowly made our way down (I take downhill very slowly) and passed lots of large groups climbing up while we were heading down. We made it back to the upper trailhead around 11:30 and to our car at the lower trailhead around 12:20. Overall it was a steep, but fun hike. We didn't take helmets and at no point felt we needed them, but it wasn't that busy when we were hiking the rocky sections since we were early, so there rarely were people directly above us. At busier times, I could see helmets being helpful as people may be above you. Our dog did great and this was his 13th 14er. He does well on large rocks, which we were able to stay on during most of the ascent. We didn't even try to get him into the notch, but another dog owner going up said they planned to attempt to lift their dog through (not sure if it was successful). On 9/17, there were only 2 snow patches we passed on this hike - one partway up the gully (very easy to avoid) and one at the top of the gully (passed where you'd turn for the notch).
|2016-09-04||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: Started the hike from the bottom parking lot at about 8:30am. No snow on any of the trails or any part of the hike at all. Cold and windy at the top, I recommend a helmet especially if you are going on a busy day where people are shuffling the rocks above. I would not recommend dogs on this hike at all. Mostly wranglers that made it to the upper trailhead, and some other lifted vehicles. Definitely a difficult climb, prepare for some upper body work!
|2016-09-01||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: The snow mentioned in the previous report has mostly melted out and what remains is completely avoidable. The whole route can be done without ice axe and traction.
|2016-08-28||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: Left upper trailhead at 6am. Very little snow thru lavender col but slippery on rocksdue to low temps. In the chute, large snow patches throughout , but not deep. Microspikes will be helpful towards top for sure and I used a snowspike (between microspike and crampon) on the way down, as the snow melted quickly when the sun came out and the chute became slippery and muddy in places. Notch was bone dry, as was the rest of the route. Completely white 360 views at the top. No view whatsoever due to low clouds and fog but a nice hike nonetheless. A later start might be helpful if temps similar to ours today as it seemed to be clearing as we got back to the jeep.
|2016-08-14||Route: North Buttress
Info: A few hundred feet of low angle snow at the base and somewhat a shooting gallery. Aluminum crampons or ax highly recommended. Route is dry, as is the Lavender descent to Blaine Basin.
|2016-08-06||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: The boulder before the notch appears to have been washed way from the standard route picture. I'm not sure if it assisted much or at all, I forgot to take a picture of it, but it is a class 3 move and there is exposure to your left.
|2016-07-31||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: No change from yesterdays report, just thought I would add a couple photos showing the perma-snow near the top of Lavender Col. From the lower trailhead it took me 2hr07min to reach the summit and round trip took 3hr26min. I wouldn't anticipate the snow section melting out any time soon. There is solid ice underneath it. Stick to the climbers right hugging the rocks. Going up it is easy, I would recommend a piolet, whippet, or at least a pole to assist in going down.
|2016-07-30||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: About 2/3rds of the way up the gulley prior to the summit, there is a snow field. Snow softened up fairly early in the morning ~7-8am, enough to kick step and walk up. Can ascend right side of snowfield via solid rock. Rest of the trail is clear.
|2016-07-27||Route: Southwest Ridge
Info: Southwest ridge route from East Dallas Trailhead (Blue Lakes Trail). I have no idea why anyone would want to climb Mount Sneffels standard route from Yankee Boy Basin when this route is an option. Ya it is longer, ya there is more gain, it is also 5 million times more beautiful and aesthetic. The class 3 climbing is FUN and mostly all solid. We went up the ridge and down the ridge. The wildflowers on the Blue Lakes side are off the hook. I loved this route and this mountain. Yankee Boy Basin looks ick. Ick ick ick. Oh ya and all snow is now avoidable on the ridge.
|2016-07-24||Route: from Blue Lakes
Info: My husband caught a pokemon on top. You can too! See photo. Other than that, we hiked up from Blue Lakes after camping there for the night. Switchbacks up to Blue Lakes Pass were dry and beautiful with wildflowers. After hitting the pass, we descended to meet up with the Yankee Boy route. If you do this, be sure to connect with the Yankee Boy trail at the 2nd sign in the boulder field, NOT the first sign that is in the meadow. Walk straight past that first sign and head to the sign in the boulder field, then turn left from there to go up the Yankee Boy route. Conditions same as 7/23 report.
|2016-07-23||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: Route was clear and dry except for about the last 60 yards of the upper gully before the V-notch (photos 17-25 of the route description). Trail from restroom TH to bottom of slope to Lavender Col is clear and presents no issues other than ORV traffic. Slope/gully to Lavender Col is loose and sketchy in places, making for a slower and more careful up and down. There is no singular trail up to the col - pretty much pick-your-path, with larger rocks on the left and dirt and pebbles (ball bearings) up the erosion in the middle gully. If there is some moisture, using microspikes in the dirt in the middle of the gully may be the better option. The upper gully was half-clear and half-bulletproof (7:30a-9a). Not sure if/how it loosened up later in the day. We had crampons and ice ax and had no issues up or down. Those without traction could make it (using steps in snow or hugging the right side), but looked like slow going and could be precarious if any mis-step, especially descending. Overheard many lamenting not having brought traction or poles. V-notch and beyond is totally dry and snow-free. I won't predict future weather or warmth of the day will impact on the snow in the upper gully. We started to ditch our gear at the bottom of the slope to the col, but were glad to have kept it for those 60 yards or so. Poles/whippet and microspikes probably would have sufficed. Oh, and a helmet would be a really good idea for the slope up to the col and the upper gully.
|2016-07-22||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: I set out to climb Mt. Sneffels as my first 14er on my 40th Birthday. The route was in great condition all the way up to Lavender Col. The climb on the rocks was not easy but it was just like it was described in the route. After a quick rest on the saddle we worked our way up Lavender col. It was not easy but was a lot of fun. Once we got to the snow we decided to use the previous foot holes and climb up. It worked very well going up. Once at the top I help my wife through the notch(she is short) after that we climbed to the peak and enjoyed the success but not the view because the clouds had rolled in. After being up there for a little bit we heard thunder and quickly started our way down. After helping the wife down the notch it started hailing hard and we got against a big rock because the hail hurt. After it settled down we started down the snow with a group of about 6 it was not easy going down the snow backwards climbing ladder style and looking down through my legs to see next hole and looking up to help wife with finding holes(not easy for a shorty). We got down ok after a very long and hard trek down the bolders that were now wet. I LOVED THE ADVENTURE and cannot wait to attack my next one
|2016-07-17||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: All snow on the route is avoidable. There is lots of loose rock in the gully.
|2016-07-16||Route: Southwest Ridge
Info: Climbed from the Blue Lakes side. Snow was on route just above the pass and around the 30' descent between gullies. Did not cause us problems nor did it require traction. Despite some minor concerns about difficulty, we opted to descend the ridge as well (the devil you know ...). In hindsight this was a great choice. We descended fairly comfortably and quickly.
|2016-07-12||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: Other than a few minor snow fields, the route is dry up until halfway up Lavender Col. However, as the conditions report from a day earlier indicates, this snow was bullet-proof, very icy and hard, early in the morning before the sun hit. This 200-foot section represented a snow climb, and to anyone attempting this within the next two weeks before 8:30 AM or so, I'd strongly recommend crampons, an ice axe, and some confidence in using them. I did observe a few people using microspikes but the going was very slow. That's what I attempted to use, and they didn't work very well for me. I decided not to go further. The other option is obviously to wait until the sun starts softening up the snow, but as we know with monsoons, this isn't always an option. Regarding other conditions reports that suggest climbing the surrounding rock ribs instead, remember that involves Class 3 scrambling and possibly a few Class 4 moves, and also would mean crossing another very steep gully with snow in it. Best to be prepared for a short snow climb in Lavender Col for another week or two.
|2016-07-11||Route: Southwest Ridge
Info: We camped at Blue Lakes and started the climb at Blue lakes pass. After deciding to take the southwest ridge, our group came to a snow field at the first pinnacle. There was enough melt that right next to the pinnacle there was enough room to move without entering the snow. From there up until the peak it was snow free. After deciding to take the Yankee Boy route down, that's where we ran into problems. The snow on Lavender Col spread the whole width and was soft in the afternoon. After slowly decending and sliding a few feet at a time, the pitch increased and so did our speed. It was very dangerous and all four of us had to basically self arrest before the rocks. In fact, in the 7/12 report photo you can see the chute we created down the middle of the snow. The rest of the route was snow free.
|2016-07-10||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: If starting early, you may want to bring ice axe and microspikes/crampons. We started up Lavender Col around 7:00 am and it was a solid sheet of ice and we had a hard time kicking steps. People heading up late didn't seem to need them. Also, a helmet would be smart in the gully.